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Harbin Opera House: The Latest Architecture and News

MAD Architects' Harbin Opera House Through the Lens of Andres Gallardo

Andres Gallardo, a self-taught photographer from Spain, captures the poetry and theatricality of MAD Architects' Harbin Opera House in a series of photos which display the building's undulating interiors and the sense of ethereal calm it takes on through the night—and through the snowstorm that took place between Gallardo's two photoshoots.

A winner of ArchDaily's Building of the Year Awards in 2016, the Harbin Opera House is inspired by the frozen wilderness of its surrounds and is saturated in local identity, culture, and art. The sculpted forms seem to grow and emerge from the snow, leading one into its poetic stillness within. Gallardo's photo series highlights the beauty in its stillness, as if the serpentine forms of the architecture have been frozen in time and are waiting to move once more.

© Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo © Andres Gallardo + 26

#donotsettle Visits MAD’s "Out-of-this-World" Harbin Opera House

Welcome to the latest installment of #donotsettle extra, the series in which Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost accompany some of their #donotsettle videos with in-depth textual analysis of the buildings they visit.

After last month’s visit to OMA’s first building in Shanghai, we stayed in China and headed north—far north. We are happy to take you to a building that has been high on our “to-do list.” Harbin, a provincial capital city in the north-east of China, has previously only been known for the large-scale ice sculptures that appear during the winter months. In the past two years, this has changed, at least for the architecture geeks spread around the world.

Ma Yansong and his team at MAD Architects designed and built the Harbin Opera House in a new part of the city. First announced in 2013, the building was completed at the end of 2015. Since then, an endless stream of breathtaking photos has been shared on the internet. We had to see this project with our own eyes! We ventured out to Harbin and spent a day at the Opera.

© Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost © Wahyu Pratomo and Kris Provoost + 13

Iwan Baan's Photographs of the Harbin Opera House in Winter

Iwan Baan has unveiled a new series of images depicting a snow-covered Harbin Opera House by MAD Architects and its surrounding landscapes. The northern Chinese city of Harbin is known for its brutal winters where temperatures can reach -22°F (-30°C). In the photographs, the Opera House's sinuous white aluminum cladding echoes the ice formed in the adjacent river. “Harbin is very cold for the most of the year,” says MAD principal and founder Ma Yansong. “I envisioned a building that would blend into the winter landscape as a white snow dune arising from the wetlands.”

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan + 25

Iwan Baan on Capturing the Harbin Opera House

In a new film by NOWNESS, Dutch photographer Iwan Baan explains his process for photographing MAD architects Harbin Opera House in the northern region of China. The short documentary describes the power of architectural photography and how Baan aims to capture the present moment of a place, instead of creating a timeless scene.